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AT&T Family Share
Posted by: pinion
Date: February 14, 2014 09:05AM
I currently still have AT&T unlimited data on my phone. But when I hit 5GB I get throttled to .5 mbps up and down. Switching to family share with 10GB is something I've been thinking about. The tethering would be nice and the extra cushion for bandwidth is something I"d like. I usually hit 5GB a week before the new month comes so I'd probably stay in the 10GB range.

Is there any reason I should stick with unlimited?



---“What you permit, you promote. What you allow, you encourage. What you condone, you own.”
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: pinion
Date: February 14, 2014 09:10AM
I forgot to mention. I also have the option of purchasing the MyWi tethering app for $20 and holding on to my unlimited if I wanted.



---“What you permit, you promote. What you allow, you encourage. What you condone, you own.”
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: deckeda
Date: February 14, 2014 09:34AM
I haven't looked at their plans lately. The 10GB Family thing comes with tethering now?

AT&T would eventually see your non-iOS traffic if you used MyWi more than a little.
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: pinion
Date: February 14, 2014 09:46AM
I'd be using MyWi with an ipad. I wonder if that matters. Probably not.

I was just looking at it and they actually changed their plans a few weeks ago. So if I got 10GB of data it would be $145 a month vs the almost $200 I pay now. WTH! I think the catch is they wouldn't subsidize my next iphone upgrade.

Tethering is allowed on all family share plans as far as I know. Not just 10GB tier



---“What you permit, you promote. What you allow, you encourage. What you condone, you own.”
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: MEG
Date: February 14, 2014 09:46AM
The new Family Plan with the 10GB seems sweet but there's a big caveat -- you will forgo getting subsidized phones in the future. I.e., when that new iPhone 6 or 6s comes out you will have to pay the full unlocked price for it ($600-800). You could always sign up for AT&T's Next plan but that would make the per phone charge jump from $15/mo to something like $35/mo. Just make sure you factor the cost of the new phone or Next plan when making your decision.

FYI - we have one of the mobile share plans which includes tethering where my old unlimited didn't and since we (combined) never went over 3GB in a month (I guess we are usually on a wi-fi connection) we saved money switching to the mobile share.
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: D. Lawson
Date: February 14, 2014 10:03AM
We just switched to the new 10 GB "value" shared plan last week. Tethering is now included, and they are also giving you a $100 credit for each new line you add through the end of February. One other thing to note (mostly for new AT&T customers or out-of-contract AT&T customers) is that the new value plans are no contract plans. If you are already in a contract, you can switch to this plan for the remainder of your contract, but your contract termination date remains in effect.

Everyone is also correct that the phone subsidy goes away if you opt for the lower $15/month rate, but if you are currently in a contract, your subsidy upgrade date will stay in place. You have the option of going with the $15 rate until you use the upgrade, at which point you will jump back up to $40/month for that line/phone. Alternately, you could enroll in NEXT if you need a subsidized phone, or just buy a new phone elsewhere and "bring your own device" to stay at $15/month (which is what I did, with a $50 Nokia Lumia 520).
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: GuyGene
Date: February 14, 2014 10:15AM
Y'all boys do know that the so called "subsidized" phones are paid for by - you, do you not? Much cheaper to buy ye iPhone then shop for the best service.

As for new ATT thingamabob plan, didn't they automatically put everybody on that plan?



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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: D. Lawson
Date: February 14, 2014 10:28AM
Anyone who was already on a current "family share" plan with 10+ GB data was automatically moved to the "family share value" plan. We were not automatically moved since we were on the 4 GB shared plan, but we saved $20/month and got 6 GB more data by switching.
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: pinion
Date: February 14, 2014 10:30AM
GuyGene: As far as I know AT&T doesn't automatically put anyone on anything. Otherwise I wouldn't still have unlimited. You're always grandfathered into whatever you had.

Thanks everyone. I'd be saving $50 a month which is like $1200 over 2 years which should cover the cost of new phones. Especially if I'm selling the old one every year. Right now we've been doing alternating years getting new phones so I get the new one every year and the wife gets the last gen. Seems like this deal would work.



---“What you permit, you promote. What you allow, you encourage. What you condone, you own.”
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: pinion
Date: February 14, 2014 10:36AM
Tigger has been pulled. $145 is better than $195. Bye bye unlimited. I was tired of being throttled anyway.



---“What you permit, you promote. What you allow, you encourage. What you condone, you own.”
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: Robert M
Date: February 14, 2014 11:43AM
Pinion,

GuyGene is correct. If you have a family share 10 gig plan you are automatically moved to the "family share value" plan. AT&T did that with my family.

Robert
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: pinion
Date: February 14, 2014 01:03PM
Quote
Robert M
Pinion,

GuyGene is correct. If you have a family share 10 gig plan you are automatically moved to the "family share value" plan. AT&T did that with my family.

Robert

Wow, ok. I stand corrected.



---“What you permit, you promote. What you allow, you encourage. What you condone, you own.”
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: Robert M
Date: February 14, 2014 01:51PM
Pinion,

I was actually very surprised. IT's the first time AT&T has ever done that. They've skewed other things when we've changed features and such but they've never actually put us into an entirely different plan.

I'm not 100% certain moving to the "family share value" keeps you from getting a subsidized phone, though. I'm planning to call AT&T and ask since at some point at least two or three people on our plan are looking to replace their phones.

The tethering is _very_ cool! It means I no longer need to carry around a Freedompop dongle when I take my ipad with me on the road. I tested tethering at my office and it worked very well. Pretty fast, too! Definitely a pleasant surprise. smiling smiley

Robert
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: D. Lawson
Date: February 14, 2014 02:25PM
Quote
Robert M
I'm not 100% certain moving to the "family share value" keeps you from getting a subsidized phone, though. I'm planning to call AT&T and ask since at some point at least two or three people on our plan are looking to replace their phones.

From the press release:

"Customers who choose to upgrade at the end of their current agreement are required to sign-up for NEXT, bring their own device or purchase a phone a full retail price in order to keep this plan."

For existing customers, the new $15/month smartphone rate only stays in effect until you upgrade your phone at a subsidized price, at which point the rate for that line jumps back up to the normal $40/month rate under the regular mobile share plans. You can keep the $15/month rate indefinitely as long as you purchase a phone at full price through AT&T (stupid), "bring your own device" by purchasing an AT&T-compatible phone elsewhere, or just keep the phone you already have.

There is an extensive thread on Slickdeals about the new plans:
[slickdeals.net]
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: Robert M
Date: February 14, 2014 05:59PM
D,

Thanks for the info and link. I'll have to contact AT&T to bitch and complain. If they're going to automatically move us into the new plan - which they did - they better give notice that the new $15.00 rate is only eligible under those circumstances. What a pain in the butt.

Robert
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: D. Lawson
Date: February 14, 2014 06:55PM
I agree that anyone who was automatically moved should raise hell about the new subsidy requirements. The people who really made out like bandits are the ones who upgraded their subsidized phones shortly before these new rates took effect. We upgraded my wife's phone about six months ago and will "get" 18 months of "unsubsidized" pricing on that line, but I unfortunately still had another seven or eight months before mine was eligible. In any case, I couldn't tolerate my old Android handset any longer, so I just picked up a cheap Lumia 520 GoPhone and put the Android's SIM in it.

I must admit, I am pleasantly surprised by Windows Phone 8, especially its performance on "lesser" hardware. Funny that Microsoft of all companies managed to develop what is perhaps the least bloated mobile OS.
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: DavidS
Date: February 14, 2014 10:38PM
Quote
D. Lawson
I agree that anyone who was automatically moved should raise hell about the new subsidy requirements. The people who really made out like bandits are the ones who upgraded their subsidized phones shortly before these new rates took effect. We upgraded my wife's phone about six months ago and will "get" 18 months of "unsubsidized" pricing on that line, but I unfortunately still had another seven or eight months before mine was eligible.

I've been strongly considering switching to this new plan for exactly this reason. We have four lines. I just got the iPhone 5S in September and added my parents to my plan in August. They both got an iPhone 5 for free through a Best Buy promotion. Therefore, our 2 year commitments still have a ways to go. My wife is eligible for an upgrade this October. We'd save about $50-86/month, maybe more depending on how AT&T applies my 20% Premier discount.

The tethering will be nice (and forgo the need for the FreedomPop device, as Robert M stated). However, I also just found out that work is upgrading my Blackberry Curve (which I rarely use b/c I hate the keyboard and interface) for an iPhone 5S through Verizon. I think it will have tethering built-in as well.
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: D. Lawson
Date: February 15, 2014 07:18AM
Quote
DavidS
We'd save about $50-86/month, maybe more depending on how AT&T applies my 20% Premier discount.

For my wife's 24% work discount, it applies only to the data portion of the mobile share plans, not the smartphone costs. Our discount actually went up by switching since we went from a $70 4 GB plan to a $100 10 GB plan, even though the smartphone costs went down. I mentioned a $20 monthly savings earlier, but it's more like $25 now that I think about it.
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: graylocks
Date: February 15, 2014 05:47PM
after being totally preoccupied with plan changing considerations and reading a great deal of the slickdeals thread i finally called ATT. currently my account has an IP5/300mb under contract until december, IP4/300mb under contract until April, and a feature phone. we share 550 anytime minutes and unlimited texting. my bill is $150 with taxes. ( i get a 20% discount on the minutes level through my job.)

starting Monday with the new billing cycle those same phone will share unlimited talk and text and 10GB of data. with my discount on the $100 data plan my new cost will be $125 plus taxes which may take it up to $140. so i'm getting a heck of a lot more bang for slightly less bucks.

i was seriously planning on leaving ATT come christmas. not thinking that's going to be necessary now.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: DavidS
Date: February 17, 2014 02:00PM
I just spoke with 2 different AT&T reps on two different calls about this.

The first said that at the end of the 2 year commitment term, if you wanted to get a new phone at the subsidized price, your rate for that line will jump from $15 to $40/month. Your other options are keeping the same phone and $15/month charge, bringing your own phone, or Next (cost of unsubsidized, full price phone is divided by 24 and added to bill).

The second rep, however, said that when it is time to upgrade at the end of your contract, existing customers (who had AT&T prior to 2/1/14) can still get the subsidized price of the phone and still only pay $15/month for the line. I asked her to clarify this and she said they just had a meeting b/c there was some confusion and inconsistency about the messaging. I hope she is correct, but I still don't believe her. Everything I've read about this suggests otherwise. However, who knows what will be happening with the cell phone industry in 2 years. All indications are that subsidized cell phones are going away completely anyway.

My Foundation Account discount is dropping from $24/month to $20/month, but this will still cover the taxes and extra fees. As I stated before, I'll be saving about $50/month, will get access to tethering, and won't have to worry about my parents going over their 300MB/month. I'll lose the grandfathered, unlimited data, but looking over the last 2 years, the most we used was 8GB in a month.

So, I just pulled the trigger and changed the account over. They say it takes about 24-48 hours to become active. What will I see different about the tethering option?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/17/2014 02:13PM by DavidS.
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: pinion
Date: February 18, 2014 08:21AM
Under Settings Cellular I had a Personal Hotspot option which is now just under settings underneath cellular. I can create a wifi hotspot, connect using bluetooth or connect using usb. And I can set up a password for the wifi hotspot. It works fairly well but a few times I had to either restart the hotspot or restart wifi on the ipad to get it to connect again. Othertimes it just took a minute to start working again so maybe I'm just not patient enough. But it works out great and it's a pretty sweet feature. I might start carrying the ipad around more now... especially since I just got a bluetooth keyboard for it. (You want to talk about something small get a keyboard case for an ipad mini... sheesh!)



---“What you permit, you promote. What you allow, you encourage. What you condone, you own.”
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Re: AT&T Family Share
Posted by: graylocks
Date: February 18, 2014 11:44AM
i have a roadtrip tomorrow so i'll get to try out the hotspot feature then. i must say this is my first day of running errands and feeling free to listen to Pandora or open apps that use a lot of bandwidth like Facebook. this 10GB Mobile Share Value is really a significant change for the better for me.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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